Title: A Feline Affliction
Summary: Mulder has disappeared, and Scully has adopted a new feline friend. But is it just another cat?
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A young woman, dressed in pure black silk, entered the room. She was beautiful to the eye, and though she had the power, her appearence was not bespelled. Her footsteps were completely silent as she walked to the couch where the man slept.
She glared at the television, which was casting shadows of her against the man's face. In her observations, he was a light sleeper, and she did not want anything to wake him up.
She carelessly waved her hand in the direction of the television, and it flipped off, quickly.
Now, to do what they had hired her to do. Destroy the man who lay before her, and leave no traces.
But that was far too simple for a mage such as herself. She smiled slowly.
Oh, this was just too good...
The apartment was pitch black.
He couldn't see a thing.
Well, he could, but it was weird - like he wasn't looking out of his own eyes.
When he went to stretch, he let out a yelp. Somehow, some way, he had been turned into a cat. A *cat*. He didn't even want to guess how this had happened, and at this point, he didn't really care.
Only one thought stood out in his mind.
He had to ge to Scully.
After noticing that the door was open a crack, he jumped off the couch, and slipped out the door.
He scampered along the streets, his animal radar leading him straight to Scully's apartment.
He looked up at the moon with eyes that while still strange, felt more and more his own as the night wore on. He guessed it to be around three, leaving him ample time to run the last mile.
He sighed, and was suprised to hear a 'meow' emerge. He had known he was a cat, but it was a still shock to hear such evidence.
He was a cat.
A *cat*. A feline.
What the hell was going on?
He shook his head, and promptly forgot about it.
Dana Scully sighed as she sank down on the couch. She needed to talk to Mulder about the last case they were on. Something about it really bothered her, although she couldn't say exactly what.
She picked up the phone, and dialed his apartment. The phone did nothing but ring. After listening to it ring for about 10 minutes, she hung up the phone. He was probably off chasing a UFO or something like that.
She tried his cell phone, then. That was the only phone he always had on and with him ... unless he'd broken it again. She listened to that phone for a while with a similar result. She slammed the receiver down with a curse.
"Dammit, Mulder! Where are you *this* time?"
That's when she heard a pitiful meowing at the door.
Mulder meowed incessantly, pleading to get in. He pouted, sitting behind the door, meowing and licking his hands in distress. He wanted in.
The door opened.
So that's what red looked like...
He meowed happily and rubbed up against Scully's leg. Lots of leg.
Well, it's probably the only time I'll ever get away with this, he mused, so I better take advantage of it.
Scully looked at the cat lying curled up on her couch, acting like he was watching TV. That was strange. She had yelled out Mulder's name n frustration, and what did she get? A cat. She grinned and turned her attention back to the cat.
"Hmm, I ned to find a fitting name for you, furface." she laughed as the cat glared at her, then took a closer look. It looked almost like his eyes were hazel. No, that couldn't be.
What's the odds that a *cat* would have hazel eyes?
Certainly lower than the odds of a human being having hazel eyes, that's for sure.
"The longer I'm around you, the longer this seems so spooky," she grinned. "That's it. I'll just call you Spooky."
The cat looked up at her as if he was surprised, then crawled into her lap and went to sleep.
Mulder cuddled up in Scully's lap, meowing contentedly. This was nice...
Now if he could only get her to let him do that in human form.
He sighed, trying to decide between staying here, where he was *very* comfortable, or trying to figure out what happened. He felt her hand softly brush between his ears. He purred.
Finding out what happened could wait a little while, couldn't it?
It was only a shopping trip. Ten minutes. She'd run out of milk days ago, and was low on bread now. He wouldn't call while she was gone.
Not in only ten minutes ...
Still, as she unlocked the door, brown papers bag tucked neatly against her hip, she felt a little guilty. But the cat needed food, too. It might desire human food, but that didn't necessarily mean human food was good for it.
Perhaps, if she hadn't been so deep in thought, she wouldn't have tripped as she walked in the door.
Either way, she did. Sitting in neat pile directly inside her apartment, yet outside of the swing of the door, were most of her science fiction books.
She picked one up. A half-human, half-feline mixture stared back at her from the cover.
What in the *world* was that cat up to now?
Mulder was asleep in Scully's bedroom when he heard her fall. Without thinking twice, he leapt off the bed and ran into the living room where he saw her staring at the books he'd managed to pile in the middle of the room.
Tilting his head to one side, he watched her from a far corner.
It was going to be hard to explan this to her without his power of speech, and that was the best idea he had come up with so far. As he watched her, he realized she still had no idea what was going on.
He sighed and padded back into the bedroom. *Back to the drawing board.*
Mulder watched her as she walked into the bedroom. He frowned. It was four in the morning, and she was only getting ready for b- Getting ready for bed, his mind echoed. This could have possibilities.
His eyes widened as he saw her reach down to peel her shirt off. He rolled over on the bed, for a better view. A slight moral dilema made itself heard, but in his cat state, stimulation overcame thought.
Wow. He had seen her without her shirt on before, of course, but she had always been unconscious, terrified, or wounded. He purred. That was way too much milky white skin to take at once. He closed his eyes, and then looked again a moment later.
He frowned slightly, she was already dressed.
And then he looked at what she was wearing. Silk sleeveless nightgown that accentuated every curve. . . .
Wow. He saw she was walking torward him and momentarily forgot he was a cat.
He sighed wistfully. Such a shame.
Scully thought about what she was wearing. *This is pathetic. I have this on, and all I'm impressing is a cat. I really need to get a life.*
She crawled into bed and thought about Mulder. He had never been gone this long without at least a note or something. *I hope nothing bad has happened to him . . .*
She knew that if he was gone much longer, Skinner would be calling the apartment, and sending out a search party after him. It *has* been 3 days, after all. Just then she happened to look up ...
... into a pair of hazel eyes. The cat had curled up on her chest and was staring at her. It gave her chills. The only person who had ever looked at her that intently was Mulder.
Eventually, she managed to fall asleep, unaware that she was still being watched.
He stared at his sleeping partner intently, quite contently curled up on her chest.
*How come the only time I get to curl up on her chest is when I'm a cat,* he wondered, idlely. He blew a gust of air in her face. *It wasn't fair.*
He closed his eyes for a moment and found himself in another place.
Inside a dream.
He looked down at himself in the black room to find himself human, thank God, but wearing only his black boxers.
Well, he mused, it's better than just a teacup.
Across the room, he spotted Scully, still wearing that night gown, and realized where he was.
He was in Scully's dream.
She was having that dream again.
That dream she had every time she wore that particular nightgown.
She opened her eyes and there he was, standing in the doorway to her bedroom, as if he were just waiting for her to notice him.
He slowly began approaching the bed, with a look in his eyes that she knew only dwelt within her dreams...
... and a sound woke her, as she snapped up in bed, knocking Spooky off her chest. Grabbing her robe and her gun, she approached the door. Someone was knocking on the door. Maybe it was Mulder.
Opening the door, she was severely disappointed.
"Agent Scully, I'd like to talk to you about your missing partner."
Mulder frowned, and stretched. He couldn't even get dreams to go right these days.
And she had thrown him off her chest and to the other side of his bed. He pouted. He was thrown aside in search o- Wait a second. Who was coming to her apartment at six AM?
Besides him, that is. They had no business coming over to see his partner. Not if he had anything to say about it.
He slipped out of the wide opened door to see what was happening.
He cringed. Of all people, it just had to be Skinner...
He was not having a very good day.
He came in and sat down on her couch. "Agent Scully, do you have any idea what happened to Agent Mulder?"
Scully sank down on the couch beside him. "No, sir, I don't."
"When was the last time you saw him?"
*Jeeze, what is this? The Spansh Inquisition?* "I last saw him three days ago, sir."
She felt someone - or something - playing with her hair. Skinner looked up at her in surprise. "Scully, when did you get a cat?"
Looking to her shoulder, she saw that Spooky had made himself quite at home there. "Oh, it's just a stray that wandered in. He really seemed to fit here, so I decided to keep him. Um -" she stopped suddenly.
She refused to tell Skinner how worried she was about Mulder.
"Let me know if you hear anything. If you don't hear anything in the next day and a half, don't hesistate to call me. We'll send a search party out."
"Thank you, sir." she watched him as he slowly walked out the door before slowly pulling Spooky down off her shoulders. "Spooky, I don't know what I'm going to do. I miss him, and I'll never forgive myself if something's happened to him. I'll never have the chance to tell him I love him. . ."
She started crying and didn't feel the cat jolt in her arms and stare at her.
Mulder stiffened in her arms and his eyes opened as wide as they could get.
*She. loves. me?* His shook his head. He had definately heard that wrong.
There was no way...
Or maybe there was. He felt like his heart was going to burst right out of his little cat body. She loved him.
He felt her tears fall down on his fur, and he cuddled up against her, purring in her ear until she was only sniffing.
Now, how was he to tell her that he felt the same way?
The mage stared at the man across from her, although he couldn't be seen. The smoke from the cigarettes that he was always smoking was about to choke her. He was angry.
"I thought we told you to kill Mulder, not turn him into an animal that could find its way back to his partner. What if the spell wears off?"
She stared at him haughtily. "It won't wear off. It will never wear off."
"We'll see about that."
The sound of a gunshot reverberated through the air, and the scream of the mage could be heard across town.
It was uncertain what had killed her first: the bullet, or the magical backlash.
Mulder suddenly felt a tingling in his foot. He shook it out, waking up Scully. He curled himself back up on her chest as it seemed to go away.
Then it became worse, running up his entire body. He yelped, and Scully looked at him for a moment, trying to decide what to do.
And then it happened.
Scully was amazed.
One minute, she had been woken up by Spooky, and the next minute she was staring at a metamorphosis like she had never seen before.
Instead of the cat she had grown to love, there lay the man, she really did love. He shook his head, allowing a lock of brown hair to fall over one eye. He looked up at her and grinned.
She stared back at his face, which was inches away from hers. To scold him or fix that smirk that was on his full, pouty lips?
She smiled slowly. That was certainly an easy descision.
"Fox William Mulder! You had me worried sick." She didn't have much manuverability, seeing as he had her pinned to the couch, but she was sure she could pull this off.
He pouted. "It wasn't my-"
She lifted her head up to his ear. "Mulder," she whispered, "just shut up and kiss me."
He couldn't believe his ears. Did she just ask him to shut up and kiss her? Well, he wasn't going to make her ask twice. "It would be my pleasure."
Slowly he lowered himself to her, and she groaned, "Mulder, you're going too slow."
"Aww, c'mon, Scully, you know I love you, and I have for 4 years now. If you waited four years, surely you can last for a few seconds. I want to savor this."
As he slowly pulled her into his arms, she had to admit that he was making this worth the wait.
And they both knew in that moment that they would never be pulled apart again.
One Day Later
Skinner looked up from his desk and stared at his two agents. There was something different about them...
He shook his head. He would figure that out later. "Agent Mulder, where were you for the last three days?"
Mulder flashed a look at Scully, who grinned.
"Let's just say I was cattin' around."
Title: A Feline Affliction x 2
Summary - Mulder and Scully have another *cat*astrophe. Also - Mages who fight for the truth, the Consortium, and a hormone potion...
This isn't exactly the sequel that was being asked for, but it is a sequel. Beware - ahead lies lots of romance between Mulder and Scully, and some mischievous mages.
Don't blame us - we're just a couple of daring authors with an unhealthy cat fetish (Who us? ^..^)
*Has it been less than a month since I was a four-footed furball that went "meow"?* Mulder mused as he walked toward the X-Files office.
*Things have been so different since I got changed back. The bond that Scully and I share has gotten even closer than before. I don't think I could go back to the way things were before if I wanted to, which I don't.*
About a week ago, he and Scully had sat down and had a conversation about that time. *She was still amazed that when I was changed back, I was wearing exactly what she saw in her dream. Of course, I never told her that I actually shared that dream. She'd *never* forgive me if she knew.*
He walked into the office, and saw Scully sitting at her desk, waiting for him. Looking up, she grinned and handed him a file folder. "Ta da! Congratulations, Mulder. You made it into the X-Files."
He whined, "But, Scully . . ."
"Oh, c'mon, Mulder, loosen up. We can just file this one away right next to Saantha -"
Suddenly, a bright flash of light blinded them both, sending them into unconsciousness.
Scully rubbed her eyes, trying to get rid of the blinking lights. If that had been Frohike with the camera *again*...
Then she felt her hands against her cheek. A rough paw.
She opened her eyes quickly, staring at the soft orange-red fur that clothed her small, undeniably cat body.
*Oh damn, what has Mulder done now?*
Mulder slowly opened his eyes, looking around. He saw the door was open slightly ajar and groaned. He knew what had happened.
He was a cat.
*Dammit, why do these things always happen to me?*
Then he looked across the room, and where Scully had been standing now sat an orange-red cat with a pair of wire-rimmed glasses on top of her head, flattening her ears. It was Scully.
She was glaring at him.
*Oh, shit... how am I going to get myself out of *this* one?*
Scully stared at him angrily. *Not only does he get himself turned into a cat TWICE, but I -*
She heard a voice in her head that sounded quite like Mulder's. *Oh, shit. . how am I going to get myself out of *this* one?*
She stepped next to the male feline across from her and titled her head to the side, questioning. That was Mulder, but he couldn't be talking in her head...
Or could he? They had already become cats - which was impossible, her mind argued - so why couldn't they talk to each other telepathically?
It was worth a try.
The sound of Scully's voice in his head broke him out of his reverie.
He looked up at her. She was looking at him questioningly and expectantly. *Scully?*
*Mulder, what the hell just happened? Why am I a cat?*
He smirked at her, and had to avoid a swipe. *I don't know, Scully, but I have a theory.*
*Oh?* He could almost see her raise an eyebrow at him. *What's this theory of yours?*
He began walking towards the door. *I suspect that there was a mage of some kind behind this, but I'm not sure. I think that the best way to ind out is to get out of here.*
He heard a sigh in his mind as she followed him.
What the hell was going on?
The man known only as the Well Manicured Man, paced across the room.
They hadn't told their associate in Washington they would be here and inspecting his progress, and he suspected it would be necessary to terminate his associate after the inspection.
What he hadn't expected was the two young ones to turn into furry, four-legged *felines.*
This was most peculiar. He had never had anything like this happen before, not even when he was trying to scare those kids and their damn talking dog off the Project grounds.
He sighed, and turned to the nine - he counted again - no, seven men in the room. (They wouldn't allow female extras in the room, it wasn't permitted.) "It seems we have a slight abnormality on our hands."
The one he only knew as the Stout man with a Lisp spoke up next, "The young Mulder and his partner have morphed into catssss."
"Yes," the well manicured man spoke up, surprised to find himself seated, as he had been pacing in the last shot, concurred. "We suspect Mage activity in the area. One of the rouge mages. The death of their fellow probably has them out for revenge."
The Japanese man (notoriously stereotypical) spoke up next. "The mage probably assumes that the two young ones have mage energy, and caused the destruction of their companion. Our associate has covered up the murder astonishingly well, for him."
The well manicured man put down his nail file and stood up, "I think this solves our problem well enough. Send men out to make sure the spell isn't broken and the cats are taken in to custody."
A young man with a plastic arm slipped out of the room to deliver the message.
It was a fine victory for the group.
*Mulder. Mulder, stop.*
Mulder turned to look at Scully sitting beside him. *What's wrong, Scully?*
*Where are we going?*
*There.* He gestured to the apartment building in front of them. *Home.*
*Mulder, we're not going to be ale to get in.*
*You trust me, don't you, Scully?*
*Then come on.*
*Oh, all right.* She sighed and they approached the apartment.
By the time they managed to get to his apartment, they both had to stop for a break. They had no idea that being a cat was this hard.
Scully almost burst out laughing when she saw his apartment. *A cat door, Mulder?*
She could almost see him shrug. *Hey, I figured that if it could happen once, it could happen again. I wanted to be prepared.*
Mulder entered the apartment and was shocked. It was torn to shreds.
She followed after him, and looked around. *Mulder, what happened?*
*I don't know.*
Scully flopped down on the bed she was completely surprised to see Mulder had. They had always stayed at her place, after all. She whined slightly, wondering where Mulder had wandered off to. She was sure he had followed her.
*What are you doing?* She jumped off the bed, landed on her feet, and proceeded to clean up the bedroom.
*I'm trying to figure out what the MIBs were looking for this time.*
*Oh. I think I know.*
*They weren't looking for anything, just trying to make it look that way. They were putting something in.*
He slipped through the bedroom door to see what she was talking about.
And he saw it, quite obvious now that the junk had been moved away from it.
Stafen was finally back at the Mage Society. He had been sent to D.C. to avenge Alyssya's death. They thought that her death had been covered up well, but it wasn't. The Society knew. The Society knew things that the Consortium didn't even want to *think* about knowing.
When he walked in the room, the first person he saw was Trysha, the most powerful mage in the entire society.
She was not happy.
"Mage Stafen, you have failed us once again."
"But High Mage Trysha, I -"
"I don't want to hear your pitiful excuses, Stafen. I sent you after Alyssya's murderer, and you were supposed to set the cat spell on *him*, not thepeople under Alyssya's last spell. Imbecil."
"So, I go find this one, and turn the others back?"
"When you find him, I want you to bring him to me. I *will* have my vengeance on him. He *did* murder my sister, after all." She smiled icily. "Oh, and Stafen, bring the other two back as well. They have the Gift."
She smiled, and dismissed him, and he stumbled back out again.
*Let's see if I can get it right this time... *
Mulder walked into the living room, Scully in line behind him.
He wasn't going to look back at her. He was going to avoid her as much as possible till this wore off.
His powers of thought weren't working well at the moment. Whatever it was about being a cat, it certainly made his hormones go into overdrive...
Scully frowned. He was definitely ignoring her. She shook her head daintily and brushed against his side. She sighed, looking him over again. He was so fine...
She mentally kicked herself. She had to get her mind back on the case... and off how she just wanted to hit him on the head and drag him back to her cave. She winced. Metaphors.
*Mulder, where are we going?* She asked, stepping over a piece of strewn clothing.
He blinked. He couldn't block her out, she would know he was trying to ignore her.
*Somewhere without cameras?* He replied, hopefully.
She sighed, and followed him as they slipped through the cat door.
Stafen figured that it would be easier to find the two that he'd turned into cats first, so he had more time to find the Other. There were never any names mentioned, but Trysha had painted a clear picture of what the man looked like in his head.
*Boy, is he *ugly*. . . he needs an illusion to make himself presentable in public ... maybe he'd look better as a cat, although I doubt it.*
He found them both laying curled up on a bench in the park, asleep.
They were so cute, and they were bonded too. Trysha was going to love this. The female opened her eyes and glared at him just as he arrived. The was a look of recognition if he ever saw one, and she was starting to awake her other half.
Without a second thought, he cast a spell to transport them both to the Mage Society. They were gone by the time he opened his eyes, and he smiled.
*Now to find the Other ... *
Apprentice Mage Darinn stared down at the two cats, curled up in each other, and sighed. *Another bonded pair of cats to deal with. Wonder what these ones did.*
He carried the potion to be implemented in the next cage down. Trysha had decided to try to breed a normal cat with a changeling female.
*Form a superior breed. Not. It's just another one of her tasks to assign to her little brother. She's been doing this ever since I got here.*
In his state of mental self pity, he wasn't looking where he was going.
And he accidentally dropped the bottle he was carrying into the wrong cage.
*Oh shit. Trysha's going to kill me. . .*
Mulder was abruptly awakened by Scully jumping on him, and hearing her insistent voice in his head.
*Now, now! Take me NOW!*
*Scully, I don't think - "
*I don't care what you think. Take me now, or I swear when I get changed back, I'll find my gun and I *will* shoot you... somewhat lower... *
*Okay, okay ... who am I to refuse a lady?*
Trysha turned around to acknowledge her brother. "What is it, Darinn?"
He coughed. "I accidentally.. ummm.. spilled the potion in the new arrivals cage."
"Never mind. I hadn't thought of trying to breed two changelings."
She smiled at him. "Yes, Darinn, I think this could be altogether a good development. You're dismissed."
Darinn walked out - practically running - relieved.
Trysha stared at the ceiling in thought. How could she use these two to her advantage?
Mulder lay to one side, exhausted.
She had finally worn him out.
How many times had she demanded that he take her? Four times? Five? Did it really matter?
This was certainly a new twist to their relationship.
*What a woman...
She woke up and looked at him, dazed, *Mulder, did I actually *do* that, or was that just a nightmare.* She tried to move. *Damn . . .*
*You have quite a bit of stamina, Scully ... I never knew you . . .*
She whacked him on the side of the head with her paw. *Oww, Scully . . .*
*Mulder, we have to figure out where we are, how we're going to get out, and how we're going to get back to our original forms.* She paused a moment. *Then I'll show you what stamina *really* is.*
*I can hardly wait.*
The man known only as CSM sat in a dark room, in a surprisingly comfortable old English chair.
He was muddling in self pity at the moment, while taking continuous draws off his cigarette. *How come Bill Mulder gets a name and I don't? This is so unfair. I can't even sign my resignation, for crying out loud.*
He coughed. *And how come I have to smoke these cigarettes? I don't like them, and it's easy to track me by the ashes.*
*And how come every room I walk in, I'm put in shadows? How come I can't show everyone my fine speedos?*
Stafen suddenly appeared in his room, but he was unnoticed by the smoking man. *By the Star-mouthed, it's dark in here!*
He quickly blasted the man in front of him, and then looked at the results. *Ew. He's even uglier in cat form. I don't know how it's possible...*
He swiped up the scrawny, wrinkled gray cat, and magicked himself back to the Society.
Trysha found herself staring at the ugliest gray cat she had ever seen, then at Stafen. "Is this the Other? The one who caused Alyssya's death?"
"Good. Come along with me, Stafen."
He followed Trysha down a long hallway, where she dropped the ugly cat in one room and spoke to Stafen, "My idiot brother knocked a hormone potion over the new arrivals, and at first I thought to use it to my advantage, but I realized that these two are about the strongest prospectives I've seen in a *long* time, so it would be really nonsense to do that."
Stafen nodded. Many of the Society members were agents for th FBI and they were spread across the country. They stood for the defense of the truth and they would do anything to uphold it. "These two fit right in here, don't they."
"Well, right now they don't." Trysha admitted. "But they will. They need to be changed back."
"Just show me where."
Mulder paced around the small cage, and tried not to look at Scully, who was smirking at him. *Well, you find a way out then.*
*Mulder, there isn't a way out of here, you're just going to have to wait till someone comes back. And stop pacing.* She swiped at him playfully, from where she lounged in the center of the cage. He tripped over her hand and flipped over to the side of the cage.
*Mulder..* Scully laughed in his head.
He kicked his legs in the air, trying to flip himself over. *When I get down, I'm going to get you for this..*
*Oh, I can't wa-* A human hand reached down in the cage and grabbed at Scully. She yelped, and Mulder rolled over on his side.
He growled at the hand. *Scully!*
The hand reached back down and picked him up.
Stafen was exasperated, and Mindspoke the two potentials. *I'm trying to help you. Calm down.*
*Not on your life!* he heard the male answer, *I won't let you hurt her!*
*Mulder, calm down. We have to trust someone.*
She allowed him to help her, and the one she had referred to as "Mulder" out of the cage. Taking them into one of the large sleeping rooms, he allowed them to jump off on the bed. That's when he changed them back.
By the time the bright light faded, Stafen was gone, and they were alone . . and unclothed.
Mulder blinked, trying to get the distortion of the suddenly large room out of his eye site. Feeling light headed, he tripped over, knocking Scully down with him.
The soft, familiar, and altogether flesh landed beneath his touch. He looked down at her face, her hair carelessly strewn across her face, and her breathing quickened. *Hey Scully,* he whispered in her mind, while capturing her mouth with his.
*Yes?* She responded eagerly to is touch.
*Forget what I said about fate. It's definitely love.*
It felt so good to be human again. The fact that the Mindspeech was still there only added to the feeling. She grinned when she heard *Forget what I said about fate. It's definitely love.*
*I'm the one who said that, Mulder, and you're still wrong.* She looked into his hazel eyes and felt like she was drowning. *It's both.*
*Mmmm, I might have to agree with you there.*
*Hey, Mulder, you remember what I said about stamina, don't you?*
*How could I forget?*
*Wanna try me?*
He grinned devilishly. *I thought you'd never ask.*
The Well Manicured man finished giving himself a French manicure, and smiled. "It seems our associate has disappeared."
The Stout man with a Lisp nodded. "It is quite convenient."
The Well Manicured Man addressed them further, "But we have a new problem. It seems the young Mulder and his partner have been changed back by the Society. If they have the power of the Society behind them, we would be. . severely inconvenienced."
The men in the room looked around soberly.
"Well," the Stout man with a Lisp said, "anyone else for a drink?"
A 'aye' was sounded from all across the room.
Several Hours Later
Stafen crept back into the room where he'd left the bonded couple.
They were curled up in each other's arms, and he couldn't resist a smile. He dropped some clothes on the chair beside the bed, two of the crystals that the Society members wore, and a note to see High Mage Trysha when they awoke.
The door closed quietly behind him, and Mulder opened his eyes, blinking. *Now I know what she means by stamina.*
Just thinking about it was almost enough to make him pass out again.
Then he saw the clothes on the chair, and noticed that they were in the exact sizes that the two of them wore, *How did they- *They just knew.* He could see her grinning in his mind.
*Come on, Scully, get up. They need to see us.*
*I know. We're going to be initiated in the Society.*
*How did you know that.*
For the first time since they had been Changed, she spoke aloud.
"Stafen told me."
High Mage Trysha sat at her desk, going over the facts in her mind. A bonded couple with a grudge against the Evil Ones. The Other in her custody. Stafen... she shook her head, and chided herself for the thought.
Stafen slipped into her mind, alerting her. *I placed the stuff in their room. They looked rather worn out,* she could hear his slight laughter, *but they should be down soon. May the Star-mouthed help me, I think they'll fit in nicely.*
*So do I. Intelligent, swift, greatly gifted, dedicated, and a team to the last.*
*Are you bu-* Stafen asked, tentatively.
*Stafen, I'll have to talk to you later. They're here.*
Scully stood at Mulder's side as the door swung open. She toyed with the crystal around her neck. It reminded her of Missy in some ways, but it felt right, so she didn't question it.
They walked in and faced Trysha, who held out her hands apologetically.
"I'm sorry about all this. We never suspected that Alyssya had changed her ways. The Society is devoted to the truth and the preservation of it, but Alyssya started working for the wrong side."
Mulder shrugged, "It happens. Perhaps it was for the best."
She smiled, "Perhaps. And forgive poor Stafen. He merely misunderstood what I told him to do ... as for my idiotic brother, I must keep a closer eye on him. Sorry about that hormonal treatment."
Scully's lips lifted in a smile, and Mulder just shook his head, "It was quite an experience, Trysha. That's all I will say."
She laughed and shook her head, "I underestimated you two. I hope you will accept admittance to the Society. You two have Gifts that must be trained to your advantage, although you are well on your way already."
Mulder and Scully shared their silent communication and smiled.
Scully spoke softly, "We accept this. If I hadn't experienced this whole ordeal, I'd be more than a little skeptical, but after all this, my skepticism has eroed somewhat."
Trysha moved from behind the desk and hugged them both. "Welcome to the Society, Dana Scully and Fox Mulder."
Assistant Director Skinner's Office
Skinner looked at his two agents, for there was something different about them. A presence that wasn't there before, a calm demeanor and a sense of peace.
"Would you mind telling me where you have been for the last five days? Agents found your apartments trashed and bugged after your disappearance. The X-Files office was torn apart."
*Should we tell him what we've been doing for the last two days?*
*Only if you want to see his reaction to two of his agents acting far more friendly then they should and learning magic, Mulder!*
He heard her laughter in his head. *Well, when you put it that way...*
"We went skiing, Sir."
Scully nodded. "We had vacation time, and we decided it would be a nice time to go skiing."
Skinner nodded, and wrote this down. *Not a chance in hell that's actually what they did.* "Next time you take vacation time, call and prevent me from sending out search parties."
They stood up in unison, and exited the office.
Skinner stared at the door after it closed. *There's definitely something spooky going on here...*
They slowly walked down the hallway toward the X-Files office. Nobody would know anything was different from the surface of things, but nothing was ever going to be the same again.
*What is it, Mulder?*
*I wanna hear you purr.*
*Shut up, Mulder.*
Title: Feline Affliction III: The Truth & The Light
Summary - A war between a human seeking power and a Goddess of the light is waged on Society terms. Mulder and Scully are caught in the thick of the adventure.
All comments and feedback can be sent to us
Scully woke up and stretched, feeling a vague murmuring in the back of her mind. She was still getting used to being with him after 4 years of denial, but she was learning to enjoy it. It was still hard for her skeptical mind to overcome the fact that she had spent three days as a cat, and that she developed a talent for Mindspeech. She decided that if she experienced it and remembered it, then it happened, and silenced her skepticism.
*What day is it?*
She heard him groan. *Oh, no... I don't feel like goin' to work right now.*
*Maybe this will wake you up a bit.*
He opened his eyes wide and looked up into her grinning face. *What was *that*?*
*Well, Mulder ... you said you wanted to hear me purr.*
He laughed, *That I did... well, maybe I might be able to drag myself out of bed this morning.*
*Good. I'll see you at work, then.*
*You're ditching me?* he sounded hurt.
*'Fraid so. Don't want anyone to have their suspicions about us, do we?*
*I suppose not.*
She kissed him as he got out of the bed. *See you later this morning.*
*Yeah... sure, fine, whatever.*
She walked out, and tossed out a comment that put a smile on his face. *By the way, Mulder, if you're a good boy, I might just do something later -something fun.*
*Mmm, all right.* He saw what she was envisioning. *I forgive you.*
Stafen sat in the steam room, entering a trance state. Something was*wrong.* He wasn't sure what it was - and Trysha didn't know either - but it was dreadfully important.
His mind left his body, only connected by a tender cord, blue with power.
He called to the other realms, his guardians, and asked for answers.
An Avatar of the Star-mouthed heeded his call. *Son of power, what is it you wish to ask?* It inquired, it's calm and warm touch of the mind reassuring him.
*There's something wrong, Chosen One. I do not know what it may be, but there is a dangerous might surrounding my realm.*
The presence of the Avatar flickered, and then reappeared, worried. *By the Star-mouthed's word, you are right. And there are only two that can save it.*
The Avatar told him.
Trysha was worried as she picked up the phone in her office. She had news to give to Mulder and Scully, but she wasn't sure that either of them would like it much. It was the knowledge that they could morph back to cat shape if it was necessary, which she knew Mulder had an aversion to.
She grinned, dialing the familiar number. *Actually, Mulder didn't make such a bad cat. I would have taken that cat home with me any night of the eek if I hadn't known that it was one of our potentials.*
That wasn't all she was worried about, however. There was a vague feeling of evil lurking around that made her uneasy. Stafen had said that he would tend to it, and she trusted him. He would never do anything to put the Society in danger, even in a situation like this one.
She listened to the phone ring. *Pick up the phone, dammit.* As if her thought was heard, she heard the out of breath voice answering. "Mulder."
"Mulder, I have something to tell you, but I don't think you're going to like it much ... "
The X-Files Office
Mulder pushed in the door, his suit disheveled and his hair still mussed from his shower. Scully looked up at him when he entered the room, already seated at her desk, across from his. *So, I leave you alone for-
*Scully, we can change back into cats by thought.*
*Be careful what you think of...* He started for her.
She sighed. *Because it just might come true.*
Scully sighed, flipping through some paperwork. *I don't believe this . . .this is just too weird.*
*Yeah, yeah, I know, but it came straight from Trysha's mouth.*
*How do you think I found out?*
*Yeah, right.* she laughed softly, *Sorry, I think I left my mind in bed this morning.*
*Mmm, and it's such a nice place for your mind, too.*
*Your Mindspeech does not include a halo and wings, Mulder. Cut it out.*
He pouted at her, *You ruin all of my fun.*
*Not *all* of it.*
*I know, I know.* He frowned suddenly. *I'm worried about Trysha.*
*Oh, why's that?*
*Well, there was something when I was talking to her on the phone. A vague worry. Something I can't quite identify.*
*If she needs us, she'll call us here. You know that.*
That's when the phone started to ring.
"Don't they ever talk?"
The one known as the Well Manicured Man (or "Harry" to his friends) filed
his nails and prepared to answer the annoyed comment of the newest member
of the group. "They used too. They do not seem to talk as much to each
other any more."
The newest member of the group sighed, her hands on her hips. *Men!* "Are
"We do not think so. They seemed to get along more than fine in bed last
night," the Stout Man with a Lisp replied.
She slipped into the chair close to the monitor and sighed. *They want me
to get rid of the problem without killing them. Well, then we'll be rid of
it. My way.*
She watched as the phone rang in the office she was monitoring.
*Oh yes, we'll be rid of it.*
Stafen ran into Trysha's office. She looked up sharply. "What is it, Stafen? Did you find out anything?"
"Only that's it's pure evil, it's helping the Others, and that only two people can stop it."
"Within the Society?"
"Stafen, who are they?" She already had some idea, and was once again reaching for the phone.
"Mulder and Scully."
"I figured as much."
She listened to it ring, and waited for Scully to answer it. "Scully."
"Scully, we need you both back at the Society. Fast."
Stafen paced the office like a caged animal, and Trysha half expected that if Mulder and Scully weren't in here in a few minutes, he would take to climbing the walls.
*Stafen, calm down. They'll be here, and then we'll figure this mess out.*
He didn't answer her, but she felt a slight grumble in the back of her mind.
"Stafen, stop pacing, for the Star-mouthed's sake."
He opened his mouth to answer her, but before he could, Mulder and Scully walked in.
"You have something to tell us?"
Mulder was almost out of breath. It had felt like he had literally ran from DC to Annapolis. That was probably only because the worry that he had felt from Trysha earlier had spread to him and Scully. He glanced at Stafen and for a moment, received a mental image of a pacing tabby cat. He shared this image with Scully, and it served to lighten the mood a little bit.
Stepping forward toward Trysha's desk, he spoke quietly. "You have something to tell us?"
"We're not exactly sure of what we're up against yet," Trysha shrugged, "and all we know is that it's pure evil and we have to have you two helping us, else we have no hope of succeeding."
For a moment, he felt a presence taller than he was at his side. That was Scully. She wasn't all that tall in reality, but her spirit made her stronger and taller than reality. "Where do we need to start?"
Trysha felt something stir nervously in the back of her mind. "I wish I knew. Stafen will tell you all that he can. An Avatar of the Star-Mouthed confirmed our suspicions."
Stafen nodded and started speaking, "The Star-Mouthed, as you know, is our goddess. She sent a warrior-mage down to help us fight in the surreal realm. The Chosen One has told me the description of the aura - all She was able to catch. This has me running - the force that is doing this is more or as powerful as the Star-Mouthed."
Trysha pulled the pendant she wore out from under her shirt. "This pendant will allow you to communicate with the Chosen one, as well as focus your power. But be careful with it - it can be used the same way by someone evil."
A young mage-pupil, one that Trysha recognized as a foreseer, ran in the room. "We have seen the face of the Power!"
Scully looked worriedly at Mulder, but was cut short by Stafen. "Come on, I'll take you to the back rooms. I have something to tell you." She caught a wink that Stafen threw in Trysha's direction, and wondered what was going on.
They followed him down the long hallway. *Scully?*
*I have a feeling that a confession is about to take place.*
*You too, huh?*
He laughed, *Yeah.*
Entering the room, they sank down on the bed, and Stafen sat in the chair, and relaxed before he began to tell them what was on his mind.
"I suspect you saw somewhat of an afterimage, am I right?" He grinned as they both nodded. "Well, I wasn't always like this." He looked down at himself. "I was once Trysha's pet cat."
"What?" Mulder stared at him in disbelief.
He grinned sheepishly and nodded. "Yeah. Listen to me go 'meow'."
"We were bonded, of course," Stafen continued. "I protected her with my own life. She treated me like she would any other person. She had that knowledge in the beginning - she could tell a changeling from a normal cat. She spoiled me a bit. Her brother and I never got along. He was ignorant and somewhat cruel, and I ... wasn't."
Scully nodded, "Else you wouldn't be here."
"Right. I don't know why Darinn is here, anyway. She doesn't care for him that much, either. Although some more . . ." he hid a smile, "humorous events have happened because of him."
Scully leaned against Mulder, laughing as she blushed as red as her hair.
"Well, let's just say that when Trysha came into her full knowledge of the cat spell, she changed me back. It's gotten more interesting since," he smiled. "I really love her, but I doubt she knows it."
Scully shakes her head. "I think she knows."
Mulder looked at Stafen, "Why are you telling us this?"
"Because Trysha understated things when she said that you could change back by thinking about it. It takes a lot of concentration, but it does come in handy sometimes. Not to mention that you can change into a different cat than your original form."
Mulder and Scully looked at each other as Stafen told them, "One of you try it."
*I'll do it, Scully.*
Scully frowned lightly, a small worry tugging at her mind. She shook it off.
Mulder closed his eyes, his only thought of the form he had worn not long ago. He felt currents of energy flow through his body, almost overpowering his control. He grabbed on to it, and formed it to his will.
He opened his eyes to see the world multiplied in size. He smiled, it had worked.
Then he felt something furry brush against his leg. He turned to see Scully's cat form standing next to him, more than slightly annoyed.
Stafen cringed, and then laughed. They had never tried it on a consummated bonded couple. "Well, you two, it seems that the bond has some side effects!"
*Should I kill him, Mulder, or should you?*
Mulder glared at him. *Let's both do it. Working as a team, we should be able to create some major damage.*
Stafen looked back at him, and cringed.
*On the count of three, we jump him.* Scully told him. *One. . .*
*Two ... *
"Yikes!" Stafen jumped out of the chair.
*Three!* In unison, the two of them tackled him.
"Wait! Wait! Come on, you two! Listen . . ."
*Should we, Mulder?*
*Oh, I don't know, Scully.*
"Maybe if you block off the bond, it would work."
*I'll try it this time, Mulder.*
She closed her eyes, blocking off their bond, and thought of the familiar form that clothed her spirit. When she opened her eyes, she saw Mulder laying on her chest - in cat form.
"All right, Stafen. I'll forgive you *this* time. Maybe."
Mulder scampered off his lover's chest, and onto the floor. He closed his eyes, and shut off the bond. It was painful, almost, and felt lost, without anchor. He concentrated, bringing himself into his natural form.
He opened his eyes to see the world as he always saw it. Quickly, he reached for Scully's mind, and felt the familiar spirit wash over him, and with her grateful presence, he knew she felt the same.
They locked eyes quickly, and then turned to Stafen in unison.
Mulder's mouth twitched slightly. "Have any more tricks to teach us?"
Scully grinned at Mulder. "I say we turn *him* into a cat."
Stafen backed up against the door. "Nooooo. No," he shook his head. "Three years as a cat was long enough ...no. . ."
They moved as one, and murmured one of the first spells they had been taught. They heard a scream that was at first human, then turned more feline as the spell went on. When they opened their eyes, they were staring at a tabby cat sitting on the floor, glaring at them.
*I hope you're happy with yourselves.*
*Oh believe me, Stafen, we are.* Mulder grinned at Scully, who returned the grin. *We definitely are.*
Trysha stared intently at the excited, scared foreseer. "I saw it, High Mage, we all did. As a flash. It was *human.* Not demon! It was a lady. Pretty but plain, by our standards. Average. But, by the Goddess, her power! She's more than I have ever seen. No offense, teacher."
"None taken. What were her talents?"
"We barely had the chance to scan. We caught a most powerful Offensive Magic talent, a shield that would hold the Goddess in awe, and a talent for teleportion and mindfetching. But no mindspeak, and no emotionsense. She's dead to the feelings of others."
*We can use that against her. She can't tell what we're thinking.*
"Does she have morphing talent?"
"We don't think so, but like I said, we didn't get a chance to scan for everything. Just the basics."
Trysha nodded, trying not to reveal what she was thinking to the young pupil. "You're dismissed. Keep me informed of any developments."
The pupil smiled. "Oh, I will!"
Trysha sat in her room, worried. *We're the last chance for this realm, and dammit, we're going to win no matter what the odds.*
Stafen slipped through the door and onto her desk. *They changed me into a *cat* Trysha!* He whined at her.
She laughed. *And I bet you deserved it!*
The tabby cat lifted his head nobly, and pretended to ignore the comment.
*Come on, Mulder, I saw him go this way.*
*All right. I'm gonna get 'em.*
*Hey, you're not the one who was turned into a cat against her own free will. You have to stand in line!*
*Sure, fine, whatever.*
They calmly walked back into Trysha's office. She was barely restraining the urge to laugh, Mulder could tell, and that laughter was directed at the cat sitting nobly on her desk.
"Mulder, Scully, what happened here?"
"Well," Mulder began, "Stafen was telling us how to Change, and he messed up."
*I did not . . .*
"I didn't like being turned into a cat against my own free will," Scully commented, "it reminded me too much of before."
"Well," Trisha reminded them, "would you mind turning him back? He's not much use to us as a cat, even if I do love him this way. He's more submissive."
Mulder looked at Scully. "Oh, all right."
Mulder brought his hands up, harnessing the power he had within himself rising to his command, beside him he felt his mate do the same. His world was arranged in elemental terms, and his mind concentrating on making the power bend to his command. Under his breath, he spoke the words to command it. His mind melded with his bondmate, till their spirits blurred where neither knew where they started and the other began.
There was a flash, and a human Stafen looked up at them from on top of the desk.
Stafen smirked slightly, lounging there on the desk. "You know, Trysha, you look cute when you're annoyed."
"I'd shut up if you like the form you're in now, Stafen."
Stafen slid off the desk and hopped into the chair. "Now, where were we?"
The new one scowled. She sensed that they were getting closer to discovering what she was - who she was. She had once been one of them.
She had an ally in the Society, and she planned to take advantage of it.
Smiling evilly, she thought of Darinn. She thought that trick she'd had him pull - however unconsciously it might have seemed - with the hormone solution would have done it, but those bondmates were too strong to let something like that. They would have to try something else.
*I need the use of your services again.*
*Whatever you wish, milady.* She could hear his evil grin, and returned it with a vengeance.
*They will not win,* she vowed. *I cannot allow them to win this time.*
Later that day
*Mulder, get your thoughts out of the gutter.*
They had been working on shielding the building that held the Society for most of the day. They had been able to establish a permanent shield - one that was fueled off the natural life forces of the building, and not the powers if the mages inside. By now, they were both mentally worn out, and they just wished to go back to their room and...
*Mulder, stop it, what you're thinking keeps leaching into my head, and I cannot concentrate.*
*I have no idea what you're talking about, Scully. I thought *you* were...*
*If you aren't, and I'm not-*
*Then someone's placing thoughts in our minds.*
*We should tell Trysha and Stafen. It could be-*
*For one, she said that the 'evil one' didn't have mindspeech, and second, I've never tried that position... It looks quite interest-*
*Alright, let's go tell them.*
"Trysha!" Stafen looked up at her. "Something's wrong. It's evil ... I don't know. . ." he started panicking. "I just don't know!"
"I feel it, but only vaguely." she looked back at him. "Can you See where it's centered at?"
He closed his eyes, and his forehead creased. "It's ... attacking Mulder and Scully!"
"Yeah... I know that signature from somewhere."
Trysha looked at it through Stafen's eyes, as they had done often, and when she spoke again, it was pure ice.
"It's my *beloved* brother, Darinn."
He opened his eyes and looked at her. "Trysha, you can have revenge on your brother later. First, we need to get to Mulder and Scully and get some defenses up."
She shook her head, "You're right, Staf. Come on."
They ran out the door.
*Dammit all! They haven't fallen prey to your spell, Darinn.*
The new one sighed. The power she could get from these two at the same time she eliminated them from any further problems was more than she had ever imagined.
But they just wouldn't perform. Oh, they would have their own brand of pleasures - but none that would gain her power, or access to wipe their minds.
*Damn their will. Find a way around it. If subliminal doesn't work - hell, hold a gun to their heads.*
*I will.* The answer came back at her.
She shivered. Darinn craved pain of other's for the fun of it, sadistic, not even for power, or revenge. It was sickening even to her tastes.
She licked her lips slowly. *Oh yes, I will win.*
Mulder frowned. Those images dancing in his head were a more than just a little distracting, but he blocked them off as they had been taught to in their crash course in magic several weeks ago.
He could tell by the frown of concentration that Scully was doing the same thing. He heard her voice in his head. *Mulder, I don't think they counted on us having as strong defenses as we do.*
*Oh?* he grinned at her. *Why do you say that?*
*Because the images stopped the instant that we put up resistance to them.
*Sounds rather *spooky* to me.*
*Ha ha, Mulder.*
*Seriously, I think we need to find Stafen and -
*Never mind, Mulder. They've found us.*
Mulder glanced up to see Stafen and Trysha approaching them. They were both positively furious.
The Offices Of The Lone Gunmen
A young man with tattered hair and likewise shirt slid across the room on a chair. He popped in the disk that had been his goal on his trek to the other computer.
Quickly, a screen appeared. "Welcome to Ardent Technologies, Home of the best miniature camera manufacturing," the voice sweetly said to him.
He clicked past this impatiently, till a menu appeared.
<Type 1 to record new digital images on your Ardent 1300 Pro Model 6>
<Type 2 to edit old images>
<Type 3 to show saved images>
He hit the keyboard, pushing down the number 3 with a click.
<Type in the name of the saved file>
He snapped his fingers, and then typed it in. <MulderAp76. - >
On the television monitor beside the computer screen, a video feed came through.
Langly's jaw dropped. "They turned into *cats*?"
The calm of the Society remained ... except in Trysha's office.
"The Sanctuary!" she shrieked at the three people in the room. "They have invaded *my* Sanctuary!"
"Trysha . . ."
"Oh, Stafen, shut up and let me finish. I'm not going to be able to concentrate until I get this out in the open."
She took a couple of deep breaths, and sat down on the edge of her desk.
"Sorry about that. Stafen did a probe on what was causing those images to appear in your mind. I had to admit that I was not surprised. My denial does not run *that* deep."
Scully looked at her. She looked somewhat calm, but deeply hurt by what she had seen. "Trysha? Who was it?"
She sighed, shaking her head, "It was my brother. Darinn."
Mulder looked up sharply, "What? The same person who -"
"Yes." Stafen answered. "I told you that I never got along with him, but I didn't think that he'd go to the Other Side. I feel like I failed Trysha. I should have seen that."
"Stafen, no. *I* should have seen that."
"Well," Stafen proposed, "is there any thing we can do about it?"
"Where is that information I sent you, Mulder?"
"Locked up in the X-Files office."
She exhaled sharply. "Then I suggest we get there - and fast."
The four of them moved as one, and when the flash of light disappeared, there was no sign that they had ever been there.
The four shapes landed in the office with a flash, Mulder and Scully ending up on next to each other on the floor, Stafen and Trysha on a pile on the desk.
"Okay, okay..." Stafen rolled off where he had landed on Trysha and brushed himself off. Trysha stood up, and pushed her hair from her face indignantly.
"I would make a crack about that," Mulder started, offering a hand to help Scully off the floor, "but I'd rather stay in this form for the better part of this hour."
Trysha pointedly glared at him, and went in for the question. "Where is it?"
"Where I keep all my sacred disks. First desk drawer, taped to the top.
Stafen reached his hand in the desk, and pulled the small, and vital disk out.
*Darinn!* she shrieked, *I wash my hands of you! You let them get away from you again! I suppose *I* will have to finish this.*
*Don't but me.* She scowled, putting up her shields against him as she began to cast the spell that would prevent them from stopping her.
As she set the spell on the room in place, another person happened to walk in.
The X-Files Office
"We ready to leave?"
"Yes, Stafen. I am. You two need to get anything?"
At that moment, a knock came at the door. "Agent Mulder? Agent Scully?"
*Oh damn. Skinner.*
Mulder and Scully tensed. *Love those surprise visits from the boss.*
Scully kicked his leg lightly, and called to the man on the other side of the door. "Come in, it's unlocked."
The door swung open, and Assistant Director Walter S. Skinner walked in.
Trysha sent to Stafen. Invisibility trick again?*
*I suppose. Or we could . . .*
*You are out of your cotton-pickin' mind if you think -
*Hey, it was just a suggestion.*
*I don't relish the thought of having four legs, fur, and going "meow" either, Staf.*
Then there was a bright flash of light.
*Dammit. It doesn't look like I have much of a choice.* She grumbled. *All green eyes and white fur. I'm gonna kill the person behind this. . .*
There was the mental sound of snickering.
*Oh, Stafen, you can shut up before I make those stripes fly off and land sometime next week.*
He shut up.
Walter Skinner felt strange.
There had been a flash of light, then the feel of concrete beneath his face, then -
He opened his eyes.
There were four cats where he had seen people almost a moment ago. He blinked.
The problem, he figured, is that I spend too much time around Mulder and Scully. Seeing four cats, and hitting my head on the concrete caused me to think I saw four people.
Then he heard a mental whisper. *Skinner? We're sorry about this sir, but it seems we all have been turned into cats.*
He picked up an hand, to see it covered with fur.
He had only one thought in his mind at that moment.
*I haven't had THIS much hair in YEARS!*
*Scully!!!!!* the first thing she heard was Mulder's whining. Why wasn't she surprised at this point?
*Mulder, shut up.*
*But I got turned into a cat again.*
*Well, so did I. So did Stafen - and you know how much he dislikes it - not to even mention Trysha.*
*Yeah, yeah, I'm this prissy looking thing in the corner. I hate this.*
*Yeah, well ... hey!*
*What is it, Scully?*
She spun around, looking at the fur that she was clothed in this time. *I look different this time.*
He looked at her, and found that she was right. Scully had ended up as a tabby cat this time - a lot lighter than Stafen was - and thinner. *Not bad, Scully.*
He heard her apologizing to Skinner, and turned to Stafen. *Can we change back this time?*
*I'm not sure.*
*Yeah, but it'll take a while.* came a response from Trysha. *As far as I'm concerned, the sooner the better.*
*Yeah, I agree.*
*Yeah, Scully, you look cute as a cat.*
He knew it was coming even before she beat him upside the head with her tail.
Skinner looked to the pair of cats that had to be Mulder and Scully. The one he had taken as Mulder was a sleek black, with a small white spot on his forehead, and the one who had just whipped him with her tail was Scully. She was a small, thin tabby cat, but obviously pretty and able to take care of herself.
The green eyed, pure white one was obviously of breeding, and anxious. The other was a larger tabby, standing by the white one in a protective stance.
Skinner was catching glimpses of the conversation, strained words, and was frustrated about the lack of information. He crawled his way up to where the four were conversing.
*Trysha, Stafen,* Scully's paw gestured at the cats across from her, *this is our boss, Assistant Director Walter Skinner.*
Mulder seemed to be smirking. *It seems everyone in the room was turned into a cat this time.*
Skinner raised his eyebrow, or what would have been his eyebrow. *This time?*
*It's a long, long story.*
Trysha groaned and sat herself down on the floor. *One of those.*
Trysha heard Scully yell at Mulder just before the cat that was their boss made their way over to them, *Mulder! If you don't behave, I will jump up on the desk and knock that container of paper clips over so that every one of them land on your head!*
*Ow, Scully! You wound me.*
She blocked them out, and looked at Stafen *Why do you always have to act like such a damned macho man - er, cat?*
*What do you mean?* he was the picture of innocence.
She batted at his ears with her paw. *You know what I mean. When I'm in cat form, you treat me like I'm a damned piece of china that's gonna break.*
*Well, you are of fine breeding, milady.*
She contemplated knocking him over. While their conversation was going on, Mulder and Scully were trying to explain what had happened, and she couldn't help but respond to that last remark.
*One of those.*
*Isn't it *always* a long story?* Stafen asked.
*Yeah, yeah, but we gotta get changed back now.* Trysha said. *The hold over this room has somehow been eradicated.*
*I hear you.* Mulder commented as the four of them began to concentrate once again.
The new one looked at her associate. "You know what you are to do?"
"Yes, m'leige. Interrupt their spell."
"Right. And then what do you do when they're in mid-transport?"
"Change their destination, m'leige. To here."
"Good, young one." The new one patted the young ten year old on the head, and the girl smiled.
The young girl slipped to the floor, gracefully, and sat Indian style, waiting in a trance for the time to come.
The new one lowered the shields on the room, allowing their spell to be cast.
She smiled, her heart beating fast. She was so close.
So close to becoming a Goddess.
So very close to the ultimate power.
They had managed to change back to normal form. Mulder had never been so relieved to feel that one strand of hair that was always hanging in his face. *Whew.*
Scully tensed beside him. *Mulder, something's wrong. Terribly wrong*
*What is it?*
*Somebody's tapped into the shields we placed on the office. They're trying to prevent us from getting back to the Society with the information.*
*How did you know?*
*I just knew.* She grinned at him for a moment.
Trysha spoke aloud. "I suppose we'll have to do this the hard way, then."
She glanced at the unconscious form of Walter Skinner on the floor. "We'll have to drive."
Stafen glared at her. "Drive? Like drive a car?" He started whining. "Trysha, that'll take *forever*."
"It's the fact that we get there, Stafen, not how long it takes." She opened the door and looked back at them. "Come on, let's get going."
The other three nodded and followed her out the door.
Darinn stormed throughout the basement of the Society. They had left him here. They had to have figured it out.
He glanced around nervously. He still had his powers, and he still had his gun. Nothing was going to change that.
He was worried, still - not from the society, but from the loss of the praise of the New One. She would be a Goddess soon, by the likes of the Star-Mouthed, and would strike him down.
Unless he could win back her favor.
And there was only one way to do that.
As he heard the motor from the car above him, he cocked his gun, and headed up the stairs, invisible to eye and magesight.
Trysha's ultra-sensitive powers made her stop the car outside of the Society. *Stafen, take them to the outer headquarters.*
*Trysha, I - I can't leave you here.*
*You have to.* She opened the car door and jumped out. *Trust me. I'm the only one who can do this.*
*Trysh - let me help you.* He situated himself at the back of her mind and refused to leave.
She slowly nodded. *I might need it.*
*There!* Stafen's strange power of being able to see through illusions flowed through her, and she saw him. Darinn. With his gun. Her eyes narrowed.
Using her Gift of telekinesis, she flung the gun from his hand to a location that neither he or she knew of. She felt his anger turn on her, and she flinched. Her shields suddenly doubled.
*I won't let him hurt you.*
Mulder felt pressure on/in/at him. He couldn't breathe, it hurt, his shields collapsing in the agony.
The pain reverberated through his mind, his only thought to break the bond.
*Scully! I won't - I won't*
*Mulder!* The presence of her lover ripped from her mind, and she bit her lip to keep from screaming. It wasn't her, something - Mulder, something was wrong and he had cut himself off.
She saw him collapse to the floor of the car, his mind fragmented and broken.
In the other side of the car, Skinner stirred, with a mind taken by a conscious not his own.
One of pure evil.
"Trysha, you are such a bitch, you know that?"
"Well," she matched his too-calm tone, "with a brother like you, I have to be a bitch."
"You'll never save your friend Mulder, and his bond is going to shreds.
She's practically gone, as well. Ah, the pain. I love it." He smirked at her. "Not only that, but I have one of the most powerful men under my thumb. Ha ha. I am going to rule the world, and there's nothing you can do about it."
"Oh, really?" The area surrounding them was cast in an almost invisible globe, and it went dark. "I am one of the most powerful people you'll never want to meet. Enjoy the ride, Darinn."
With Stafen backing her, she ripped his gift of mind-control from him, and smiled at his agony. "Yes, Darinn. I think you now know what I plan to do with you. With the approval of the Star-Mouthed, I, High Mage Trysha do intend to rip every Gift you have and leave you here."
"Trysha," his voice was pleading now, "I'll die here."
"Precisely. You'll die, as many others have died by your hand just so you can feed your sickening love of pain. This will set their spirits free."
She tore his mindspeech and telekinesis gifts from him.
"Trysh...there's only one left. . ."
"Ah, yes, the most important one. Emotion-sensing. Empathy." She tore that from him, and felt him fall to the ground. She was basked in a warm light, and smiled.
*You have done well, child.* She felt the only gift that had been denied to her open up.
The New One swore fervently as she felt the control of Darinn being ripped from her.
*Damn. One less pawn in my army. But we're still close to checkmate.*
She/he looked around in the new body that Darinn had freed for her.
*This fits fine, and my powers are still all in check.* She/he reached down to her waist, and felt the gun holster there. *And I have a weapon.*
She/he reached out with her mind, Trysha still basking in the light of the Star-Mouthed, and Stafen in the trance state with her.
That took care of them. Leaving her with the two she desired.
She/he whipped around to face them, pulling her/his gun, and pointing it at them. She soothed their minds, took their pain, and sealed their bond.
They both breathed in unison, relief showing in every movement.
Until she called to them, alerting them of her presence. *Hey guys. Looks like we'll be facing off, anyway.*
She transported the two and herself to her workroom, on the other side of town.
Stafen felt a mild presence 'speaking him. *Stafen, allow me to assist your bondmate now. Your job here is done.*
He felt something akin to awe as he recognized the presence of the Star-Mouthed. He still had questions, but they could wait. He slipped out of her mind by his own free will, finding himself laying on the ground outside the globe that Trysha had created to fight her brother.
*Your questions will be answered in time.*
The circle beamed with a brilliant light, as it began to spin. It appeared to be a brilliant spinning tornado of light. Then with a brilliant flash of light that he basked in, and a rumbling of the earth below him, they were gone.
There was no sign that Trysha had even been there; there was only the crumpled body of her brother lying there, slowly dying.
The New One smiled as she sent currents of blue energy to the two. She was in her original body now, the man she had inhabited crumpled on the floor.
Mulder held Scully tightly in his arms, shielding her body with his own.
The bursts of blue lightening scorched not the skin, but caused pain and leeched their energy. The New One laughed as the power came to her in currents.
*Bow to my whim and you shall be free of this pain, live well in my reign!*
*Never!* Scully yelled back at her, her eyes blazing, and power coursing through her veins.
*Mulder,* she looked to her partner.
He nodded, and they readied themselves for the next blast.
To conduct a Final Strike. Kill the enemy as they kill themselves.
But then - only moments before - a new presence entered the room.
"Oh my God," Scully whispered.
Mulder finished the thought for her. "It's the Star-mouthed."
Trysha was barely aware of herself as the spirit of the Star-Mouthed possessed her. She willingly gave the control over her body to the Goddess she worshipped. She knew it was the only way.
It was like being surrounded by a ball of light and peace.
Closing her eyes, she allowed herself to be transported to the center of the chaotic energy threatening the delicate balance of life. She faced the Evil One, and noticed that somehow Mulder and Scully had bonded together in such a show of strength and power that it was unbeatable.
They were risking everything.
Mulder breathed deeply, pulling the energy they had been ready to blast with back into themselves. Scully followed him, without comment, and for a moment, he wasn't sure which one of them he was. *Scully, I love you-* he sent frantically as he realized he had never told her, needing her to have confirmation.
They rolled to the ground as another blast of blue energy sped it's way toward them.
They were backed against the corner when another blast of blue energy from the evil one swept by them, missing by inches. *Trapped like a rat.*
*Bad pun for a time like this. At least we're together.*
Before he could answer the room went up in a display of lights that were of such brilliance and majesty that they had never before seen by humans.
The Star-Mouthed's fight had begun.
The Star-Mouthed faced The Evil One, hair flying around chaotically as uncontrollable winds blew through the room. *You will never win.*
*Ha, who is going to stop me? You?*
The Evil One raised an eyebrow. *No?*
*No. You are going to kill yourself.*
With an inhuman scream of rage, she ran for the Star-Mouthed. When the two of them collided, in the center of the room, the lights grew in intensity, then suddenly everything blackened.
When everything lightened again, Trysha's body was slumped against one wall, and Mulder and Scully were slumped against another.
All that was left of the Evil One was a black circle in the center of the floor.
"Mulder..." she spoke his name as she awakened from the sleep she had been emerged in.
But she found herself not where she had been - not in the room, but in a place of light, a place of truth.
"Where am I?" she asked, her voice perilously faint.
A woman walked in the place, her face and manner strong and graceful, beautiful and true. "You are in the light, child."
"Am I dead? Is this - Is this heaven?"
"No, dear one. This is not your time. I have simply came to deliver you a message, from your own God. From us all, in all our forms, the good and the fair."
"What do you have for me?"
"A small token of appreciation. A want of your own, and of your bondmate.
Believe, Dana, and keep your heart true..."
The place faded from her mind, and she was in the room, sleeping lightly,
her bondmate at her side.
Trysha shook her head, the presence of the Star-Mouthed already starting to fade from her.
*Thank you, Child. You will need your gift of Healing now.*
*Mulder and -
*Scully will be fine. Mulder needs a little bit of help, however. He has been weakened by this.*
*I understand, Goddess.*
The Star-Mouthed left her, and Trysha tried to stand. She was so weak . .
*Oh, come on, Trysh... you're not going to give up on me now, are you?*
She sighed in relief. *Staf -
He lent her enough energy to make her way over to Mulder, and begin to heal him. *Thank you, love.*
*It's nothing. Just the fact that you're coming back to me is enough.*
"Mulder, come on, wake up for me." Scully sat by her bondmate's side, lending all her energy to him. *Please, come back to me - don't go now - we've too much left to do in this world, too much left to say, too many truths to uncover - don't leave me now.*
She felt a whisper of his mind reach out to her as Trysha crouched down by the other side of him. "I can heal him. Tell me what happened."
"He tried to protected me during the blast - damn fool tried to do it again. Cover me with his shield, blast against it. He over extended himself, I think." Scully bit her lip, trying not to worry, not to think.
Trysha nodded, and placed a hand upon his temple. She was still for a moment, nothing moving in the room. Then she looked back up at Scully. The tension grew.
Then Trysha broke out in a smile.
"He'll be fine."
A Week Later
"Trysha, I'm not ready."
Trysha looked up at Stafen from behind her desk. "You're not ready to be one of the rare High Mages of the Society, Stafen? I find that hard to believe."
"I haven't earned it. . ."
"Yes, you have." She told him firmly. "After that battle, I think we all have." She looked around the room. Stafen stood in front of the desk, clothed in jeans and a sweatshirt, while Mulder and Scully stood against the wall, wearing jeans and the long-sleeved blue shirts of the Society . . . and the Crystals. Through this all, they all had managed to come into their powers.
"Maybe you're right, Trysha."
"I know I am." she grinned at everyone. "If we made it through this one intact, I think we'll be able to handle anything."
Stafen looked around himself, "You know, Trysh... I think you're right."
"So, I declare Stafen, Mulder, and Scully to be High Mages of the Society."
She grinned. "Use your gifts well, and remember ... "
Mulder laughed, "The Truth is out there!"
Title: Feline Affliction Interlude: Sweet Surrender
Warning: This is a pure character piece about the two characters not from the XF universe that resides in the Feline Affliction universe- Trysha & Stafen. Oh, of course, Mulder has to get curious about something, so here we go. Pure fluff, y'all.
Summary: Mulder gets curious about the bond that Stafen & Trysha have between them, and Trysha tries to explain it to him.
Any and all feedback is welcome
Mulder sat on the couch and picked up the phone. Dialing a number, he waited for her to pick up.
"Hey, Trysh. This is Mulder."
"I was just curious about something."
"Ask away, Mulder. I've got time."
"Tell me about the bond."
"The bond?" she asked back at him.
"Yeah. The bond between you and Stafen."
"Oh," she was suddenly quiet. "I knew that you'd be asking, eventually."
"So tell me, then."
"Well, I was just a young mage student at the Society. I was learning under the last High Mage. I was her prize student. Then a gray tabby cat came to keep me company one day, and one day it became a kind of sweet surrender."
*8 years earlier
Trysha stared at the tabby cat sitting in front of her. *A changeling. I don't understand why High Mage Alynia sent me a changeling.* Maybe it's a kind of test. Perhaps she's testing me on how much I know about changelings. Maybe it's something more.
She walked toward the chambers of the High Mage. Alynia was sitting there, as if she was expecting her. "Alynia?"
"Can I ask you something?"
"Why the changeling?" she gestured to the cat sitting at her side. He was so noble-looking and proud.
"He's not just a changeling, Trysha. He's your bondmate, and *he* found you. I didn't send him to you. He was caught under an evil mage's spell, and nobody has bothered to change him back. He's been here for about three years."
"Three years? Three *years*? How can someone just forget about him like that? How?" she raged at her teacher, her superior, in his defense.
"You have misunderstood me, Trysha. I have spoken wrong. It wasn't that they forgot about him. It's that he wouldn't let anyone near him. He's wild." Alynia was stifling laughter.
"He's just a big kitten," Trysha defended him with a smile. She knew that Alynia was right; Stafen didn't allow people to get too close to him. All except her ...
"He was a noble mage-student, Trysh. Very quiet, and subdued. Don't ask me what that damned mage did to him," Alynia shrugged. "I'm not sure I want to know. However, it does appear that you're going to be the one to change him back."
"And then let nature take its course. Let whatever happens, happen. I'd just like to see you two after it's done. Be well, Trysha."
"Be well, Alynia." Trysha and Stafen slipped out the door.
She looked at the cat sitting on her bed. *Stafen, what in the world am I going to do with you?*
*Hmm, good question, T.*
*Yeah, sure... why not?*
*So, do I change you back or not?*
*Well, that would be nice . . .*
She laughed. *All right, all right, I get your point, Staf. . .* She lay down on the bed and he decided to stretch out on her stomach. She started to weave the spell, and the bright flash of light enveloped them both . .
"Trysha, what happened? You didn't mess up the spell, did you?"
"No, Mulder, I didn't."
"Then tell me the rest."
"I'll think about it."
"Trysh...." Mulder was whining.
Trysha felt totally crushed into the mattress when she came conscious again. Opening her eyes, she almost started to complain rather loudly...
until she found herself looking into a very familiar pair of green eyes.
Stafen laughed and rolled off her onto the mattress. "Hi yourself."
She watched as he stretched. Somehow, in an amazing twist of fate, he ended up wearing the clothing that he had been wearing when he was Changed.
Usually that isn't the way it happens. No wonder he didn't want anyone other than his bondmate changing him back.
"You *are* quite wise, T."
"Staf. . ."
She covered her face with her hands. "Don't call me that. It's embarrassing. Well, at least not in public."
"A *private* nickname, then. Hmm?" he lifted her chin to meet his eyes, and she remembered what Alynia had told her.
*Let what happens, happen. Shall we?*
He grinned, *Yes.*
"You two let nature take its course, huh?" Mulder laughed.
"I suppose you could say that."
"What did your teacher say?"
"She expected it the entire time."
"Oh? Do tell."
"I'll call you 'T'."
"All right, all right, I'll tell you. Just don't call me T. Stafen's the only one who calls me that."
"Trysha, Stafen, come in."
They walked slowly into the chambers of the High Mage Alynia, and faced her. She smiled at them.
"Stafen, it's good to see you again."
He smiled. "It's nice to *be* seen again."
She turned to Trysha, "So, Trysh, did you tame the wild cat?"
Stafen snorted, and Trysha slowly shook her head, a smile on her face. "No, Teacher. I think *he* tamed *me*."
"Good. You two work well together. Not all bonds are this well-formed.
Trysha, I am entrusting you with the High Mage position. I will guide you until the Star-Mouthed takes me to the higher plane. Stafen, you too will be allowed a High Mage position, but not until you finish your training.
Trust in Trysha. She'll know when it's time."
"Be well, you two. I must get some rest. I suggest that you two do the same."
Mulder sat back. "Whoa. Now that's a turn of events. You made High Mage right after your bond was consummated?"
"Yes. I think it was a requirement or something."
"Now Stafen is High Mage at your side?"
"Yes. I think we'll be able to handle about anything ... now."
"You needed the test of the Evil One?"
"Apparently so." He could hear another voice in the background. "Oh, Mulder, I have to go. Stafen's here."
"Take care, Trysha."
"Be well, Mulder."
They both hung up, and he smiled.
*I have to agree with you, Trysha. Giving in to the most precious bond in the world is such a sweet surrender.*